There are many actions taken during a tennis match that are borderline between an actual Hindrance and legitimate play. Here are a few with MY opinions on the legality (confirmed by a USTA official) …
- Jumping at the net – Playing doubles, the server’s net man is jumping around BEFORE his partner ever served. When asked about it, he said, “doing it to distract the returner.”
Hindrance or Legit? If he did it as/after his partner served as a fake poach, it would be fine; but doing it just to “distract the returner” makes it a hindrance.
- Standing on return of serve – You are returning serve (either singles or doubles) and you stand way back, way in or way off to one side; and then you either stay where you are or move back to a “normal” position.
Hindrance or Legit? The returner can stand wherever he wishes. Legit.
- Rockin’ and Rollin’ – You are the doubles returner’s partner and on an important second serve, you move right up to the edge of the service box and move by rocking back and forth.
Hindrance or Legit? If you just moved close to the box to intimidate the server, that would be fine; but by intentionally moving around, you create a Hindrance.
- Calling “Out” – Playing doubles, a high ball is coming towards your partner and you yell “Out!”; but he plays it anyway and hits it back to your un-ready opponents.
Hindrance or Legit? Had you yelled, “Let it go!” or “Bounce it!” or “NO!”, you would have been fine; but yelling “Out” and having your opponents essentially stop playing makes it a Hindrance.
Your thoughts on these or other situations?
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